Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to renew its push on social media by launching an app geared towards connecting people. But is the effort a little too late for the Cupertino tech giant? Dan Olds, an OrionX analyst says yes, Apple is too far out of the social circle to make an impact on the business.
“Apple would have to come up with a very solid social app in order to compete with what’s available today,” said Olds. “Even with Apple’s very large installed base of users, I think it would be very difficult for Apple to compete head-on with Facebook, Twitter or Google. I’m not sure people want to add yet another social network to manage and maintain. The market seems fairly well satisfied right now.”
The most widely used social media platforms right now are Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Instagram, and SnapChat, it would take a lot for Apple to penetrate the market, much get sway people to make the switch.
“Apple would have to come up with something extraordinary in order to grab enough users to make it worth their while,” said Olds. Rumors that Apple is working on a social app – which many believe is a SnapChat rip off – followed a Bloomberg report that the company is working on a new video editing and sharing app for iOS. The app reportedly allows users to share videos on various social media platforms. It could be a standalone feature or incorporated into the iPhone camera.
Apple is also rumored to roll out major updates to its messaging app in a bid to compete against Facebook’s Messenger. Although the OrionX analyst believes that Apple’s foray into social media won’t be as successful, some say it makes sense for the company to try entering the market once again. After all, billions of users are tuning in to various social media platforms and Apple is missing out on a potentially profitable venture.
“Apple is behind in social media,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. “This does not mean they will ever be a significant player in social media, but I’m sure that’s a target they would like to achieve. If they can marry a successful social media app with their technology, it will help them grow further and faster.”
Meanwhile, Judith Hurwitz, an analyst with Hurwitz & Associates said it could be easier for Apple to buy its way into social media instead of starting from the ground up.
“It would be interesting to see if Apple will buy a company like Twitter,” she told Computerworld in an email. “Starting from scratch may be difficult.” Hurwitz also noted that Apple is better off focusing on photo-based social media app that would tie into the use of the iPhone’s camera.
Meanwhile, Olds said that Apple should focus on playing nice with other social media platforms instead of building one from scratch.
“I think Apple has decided that they need to have a social media presence, but I’m not sure that they’ll develop their own vehicle with their devices,” said Olds. “I think it’s more likely that they’ll imbue their devices with Apple-only features that make the existing social networks easier to use, or provide a richer user experience.”